27 January 2014

Zimbabwe: Step Aside, Mangoma Tells Tsvangirai

Photo: Trevor Davies/IPS
MDC-T youths at a rally before the 2013 polls.

MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai has lost credibility because of his conduct as leader of the party and in his personal life and should resign, a close associate has said. In a letter on his Facebook page at the weekend, party deputy treasurer Mr Elton Mangoma said it was time Mr Tsvangirai stepped aside, essentially saying the MDC-T leader was a failure.

"How will you answer the questions that we failed to care enough for our people and that we used our time in government for personal aggrandisement, personal wealth accumulation as symbolised by the current impasse on Highlands residence?

"How will you put closure to the issue of women in your life and ensure that these will not continue to erode your and the party's brand? How will we put closure to the question of misuse of funds, and ensure that our friends regain confidence that donations will be channelled to the people's project going forward?" Mr Mangoma asked.

Mr Mangoma joins a growing consensus that Mr Tsvangirai must step aside. MDC-T treasurer Mr Roy Bennett fired the first shot when he said Mr Tsvangirai should resign following his humiliating defeat in the July 31, 2013 Presidential election.

He was followed by national executive member Mr Ian Kay, who described the MDC-T leader as a "rusty bolt" that needed to be replaced.

Another party stalwart, Mr Eddie Cross, chipped in saying Mr Tsvangirai's time was up. At the weekend, Mr Mangoma proposed that MDC-T deputy president Ms Thokozani Khupe assume interim president responsibilities until an extraordinary congress is held.

However, MDC-T national chairman Mr Lovemore Moyo said the calls did not mean there was a leadership crisis, but rather an organisational challenge.

"We are not looking at leadership renewal but organisational renewal," he said. "It is not about one person but the whole organisation." In his letter, Mr Mangoma insisted leadership renewal was an inexorable reality for MDC-T.

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